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The Old Tiger is the fifth and last scenario of the Bayinnaung campaign in Age of Empires II HD: Rise of the Rajas.

Intro[]

1580 AD. Year Thirty of the reign of the Cakkavatti.

Though the tiger grows old, his hunger does not leave him. It grows with age, driving him to fresh hunting grounds and giving him a taste for more dangerous prey!

For thirty years, I have ruled Burma and made a dozen kings bow before me. But what will they say of my life? That I ruled by the sword and killed many men? That I, a King, was a slave to my desire? The Old Tiger is stubborn but he knows when his hunger has gotten the best of him.

My sons lead the army to conquer the Rakhine coast; the gateway to India. They are like their father once, chasing in vain across the earth for their greatest victory...

Scenario Instructions[]

Starting conditions[]

Differences between difficulty levels[]

  • On standard difficulty, the player will get 34,000 food, 29,000 wood, 29,000 gold, 1,500 stone after bringing Bayinnaung to the four temples.
  • On moderate/hard difficulty, the player will get 26,000 food, 23,000 wood, 23,000 gold, 500 stone after bringing Bayinnaung to the four temples.

Objectives[]

  • Bayinnaung and Nanda must not fall in battle.
  • Bring Bayinnaung to the four Buddhist temples (Wonders).
  • Defeat all enemies.

Hints[]

  1. At start, you will not be able to train units, but once Bayinnaung's meditations are completed, you will have a population limit of 300.
  2. You must be aggressive as your resources are limited. A slow approach will only result in a slow defeat.
  3. The faster you complete Bayinnaung's meditations, the less time your enemies have to train units for the final battle.
  4. A group of Monks with Theocracy can turn any odds in your favor.

Scouts[]

Your scouts report:

  • Bayinnaung's sons, Nanda and Thinga, attack the Rakhine capital of Mrauk U from both land and sea. Because the Burmese army is so far from the homelands, their supplies are limited.
  • The Rakhine (3, Yellow) have stockpiled resources and have time on their side. The longer the siege lasts, the greater the Rakhine's relative strength becomes.
  • The Portuguese (6, Purple) command the northern end of Mrauk U and fight as mercenaries of the Rakhine. Their ports are well-defended by Bombard Towers. Beware their Wonder which has strong defensive capabilities.

Players[]

Player[]

Ally[]

  • Bayinnaung (Burmese) is the aging king of Burma. During the first part of the scenario they control the two bases later given to the player and when Bayinnung himself (in this scenario a renamed Bui Bi) is meditating he is taken over and thus immobile and vulnerable.

Neutral[]

  • Mrauk U (Burmese) is the capital of Rakhine and serves decorative purposes in the form of various buildings.

Enemy[]

Strategy[]

Designated way[]

This scenario can be frustrating, but it is an interesting challenge in its own right.

At the start, you have limited resources to overcome an unlimited stream of foes. On top of that, you have 2 heroes which cannot die, lest you forfeit the scenario. You cannot make new units, and you have to besiege a number of castles while fighting archers that will try to kite you, all while protecting Bayinnaung as he moves from one meditation point to the next. You'll have enemies coming at you from all sides, and you cannot devote the time to a slow and careful approach. It requires decent micro-management skills, while also bringing all your military forces to bear on the problem.

Your army is split into 2 groups initially. One by sea, and one by land. It is possible to merge these two forces around the second meditation point, and it can be considered wise to do so, weaving your fleet and cannon galleons to help destroy the buildings on the coast, and deliver the reinforcements in your transport ships. Proceed carefully, don't let your heroes get lured away, or get left behind. If you start going too slow, the enemy (Elite) Rattan Archers really show off how powerful and annoying they can be in this scenario. You need to move quickly. Once you've completed the meditations, things change, including automatic death of Bayinnaung. From here on out, things get a lot easier. You get tons of resources, and all the buildings that you were locked out of are now yours to command.

Convert a couple of the land based military buildings to create a guard around your remaining land-based hero. Elite skirmisher spam is recommended, with some elephants for a meat shield. Once you've secured your immediate vicinity, and your heroes aren't about to die, spam technologies, and get a massive fleet of galleons and elite cannon galleons. Bomb the coast until there is nothing left, take out those pesky Portuguese (yes, you can convert the feitorias, though with your resources, you shouldn't need to; while the Portuguese have Heresy on their tech tree, it is not researched in this scenario). Build up another army in the south east where you started, and pulverize your foes between the hammer of an elephant army with siege support, and the anvil of your mighty fleet.

Note: Moderate/Hard mode removes all four Cannon Galleons and three Bombard Cannons. Basically, the player only has two Trebuchets with the land army and two Bombard Cannons with the sea army. A sea invasion toward the second meditation point would then probably be a bit suicidal, but ships are rather cannon-fodder on this map so some nice timing will see the player merging the two armies.

Preemptive strike[]

Alternatively, the player might choose to defeat all enemies (or at least Rakhine) before even starting Bayinnaung's meditations. This is possible because enemy forces have specific resignation triggers:

  • The Vietnamese resign if they lose both their Castles;
  • The outer Rakhine defense force (Player 4) resigns if they lose all four Castles. They are indistinguishable from player 3 in terms of civilization, name or color, so the player should know which specific Castles need to be destroyed.
  • Player 3 (Rakhine around the southern edge of the map) resigns once Player 3 and the Vietnamese have done so.
  • The Portuguese resign if they lose their Castle and Wonder.

Bayinnaung and one of his sons start out at the eastern tip of the map. It is a good idea to leave them behind, as losing any of them results in automatic defeat. The rest of the army should be divided into control groups and set to defensive stance as soon as possible. Battle Elephants should be used to soak up damage, while the Arambai kill enemy units from safety behind their backs. Remember, those elephants come with Howdah researched, and backed by Monks, they can soak up insane amounts of arrow fire. The Easten Army should cross the bridge and immediately head north towards the Vietnamese instead of west towards the monument.

Meanwhile the Seaborne army should head westward, avoiding the coast until it reaches an unoccupied sandy beach suitable for landing. Unload the land units but make sure that the Bombard Cannons are unloaded last. Keeping them alive is imperative for the strategy to work. Once the Bombard Cannons get unloaded, they will reveal a Castle in the vicinity and start attacking it. Let them destroy the Castle. The attack will provoke Rakhine to send a few infantry units, so protect the bombards at all costs. Once the Castle is destroyed, set the cannons to "No Attack" stance and the rest of the army to defensive stance.

Eastern army movement[]

Trebuchets must be preserved at all costs. The three starting Monks are also valuable, as they will extend the Battle Elephants' life span. Battle Elephants and Arambai should be microed properly, as they are the main strike force. The Cavaliers and Champions are expendable and can be sacrificed to chase down archer units.

The Trebuchets should take the two Vietnamese towers from a distance, then the gate. The Vietnamese lack even Masonry, so expect their buildings to fall quickly. Once the gate is down, use the hole as a choke point to funnel enemy units while carefully repositioning the Trebuchets to take down the Castle; it should go down without much effort. Then carefully enter the Vietnamese base and try to position at least the Champions and the Arambai on the hill to negate elevation penalties. As always, protect the Arambai. The elephants should guard the Trebuchets. The Trebuchets should quickly move in position to take down the second Vietnamese Castle. Make sure the Army is outside the Castle's range, or the player will take heavy casualties. The Vietnamese will send three elephants against the Trebuchets. The Monks should carefully convert them (be careful not to lose a Monk in the process). As soon as the Castle falls, the Vietnamese will resign.

Now move the whole Eastern Army on the hill, and attack the gate with the elephants. It will serve as another chokepoint. Position the Trebuchets in range of the next Castle and tear it down from outside the walls. Use the Arambai to stave off the Portuguese attacks from behind the walls, as they become increasingly annoying. The Castle and the gate should fall at roughly the same time, so the army should enter through the gate and reposition in a spot that allows the Trebuchets to target the next Castle. It is hidden behind a Wonder and the player's army will be exposed on an open space, so carefully micro the units. The Champions (what is left of them) can target yellow's production building to reduce enemy unit production, but make sure the Elephants and Arambai don't chase Portuguese units back to their base, because it is heavily fortified by towers. Once the (fourth) Castle is down, pack the Trebuchets and retreat to the starting base to meet up with the Seaborne Army and regroup, making sure that the Trebuchets, Monks and Arambai are protected. The player might have to sacrifice an elephant or two in the process.

Seaborne army[]

The Seaborne Army's march is much less micro-intensive. It is recommended to command the Seaborne Army and the Eastern Army simultaneously in order to make Rakhine surrender sooner.

After landing and destroying the nearby Castle, move the Bombard Cannons and some troops to protect them directly eastward along the shoreline. Do not leave the sandy beach until they reach a small forest; there's a Castle behind it. Use the cannons to destroy it from the distance. Rakhine will retaliate with some infantry, so make sure to protect them. Once the Castle is down, gather the whole Seaborne army and place it in a box formation (Monks and cannons in the middle), then move south. Bombard Cannons are no longer crucial for the success, so losing them will not require a restart of the scenario. The army must make a large U-turn in order to avoid a walled and fortified Rakhine base filled with units. Make sure not to attack Rakhine buildings along the way to avoid needless loss of units. The last Castle that has to be destroyed is on the other side of the fortified base, near the shoreline and is protected by some Harbors. Attacking it should be synchronized with the attack on the fourth Rakhine Castle in the east. Just position the Bombard Cannon in range and take it down. If the player has lost the cannons at this point, they can simply tank the Castle with all they've got; the Seaborne army is big enough to survive the ordeal. Once the Castle is down, gather all survivors and retreat south, outside the range of the Harbors and ships. Rakhine should resign soon; move towards the eastern base as soon as they do.

Finishing touches[]

With Yellow gone, the path along the Monuments is now safe, so Bayinnaung can do the pilgrimage at the player's leisure. Once he has visited all four locations, the player will receive a huge amount of resources and the ability to train units to mop up the Portuguese.

However, the survivors of the starting army, once combined, should be strong enough to either take down the Portuguese on their own, or at least to deprive them of the ability to train land units. The player should have at least the two Trebuchets standing; any Bombard Cannons left standing are a bonus. Gather all survivors and march north towards Blue's base. As always, protecting the siege units and keeping the Monks alive is a priority.

Use the siege units to take down the towers along the wall, but take care to keep as far from the water as possible. The Portuguese base is tightly packed and most of it is in range of their ships - and their Cannon Galleons are deadly. On land the Portuguese will defend with Arbalesters and infantry and while the infantry is of no concern, the Arbalesters outrange the Arambai, so micro the units properly. Once the towers are down, the siege should concentrate on destroying Portuguese's production buildings - Monastery first, then the two Archery Ranges to stop the stream of those pesky Arbalesters and Barracks should go down last. Portuguese's Castle can also be taken down from outside Portuguese's walls, so destroy it. Finally, to destroy Blue's Wonder one has to break into their base. In order to avoid the ships, do not attack the gate. Breach a piece of wall around the eastern edge of the map instead, then destroy the Feitoria directly behind it and then carefully navigate through the hole. The Portuguese Wonder shoots arrows and is within the ships' range, so it's recommended to use siege against it. Just hug the eastern edge and the siege units will be safe. The Portuguese should have no land units at this point, safe from their Conquistador Hero. Once the Wonder goes down, Blue resigns.

Outro[]

My father did not live to see the conquest of the Rakhine. The doctor claimed the lung sickness took his life, but I know my father. No man who rode a charging elephant into throngs of Shan archers, who stormed the cities of the Thai, or who ruled an empire not seen since the ancient days would die from a mere cough!

No. My father left this world because he chose to. There was only one conquest left worthy of a man like Bayinnaung.

I know legends will be told of him. I know old shamans will tell prophesies. But no deed would match his final act. Greater in battle than the man who would conquer a thousand men is he who would conquer just one – himself.

Trivia[]

  • Strangely, if Thinga Dathta is killed it will not result in a game-over, as it would for his older brother Nanda. This may be due to Nanda assuming the Burmese throne after his father's death while no official records exist of Thinga after the siege of Mrauk-U.
  • Filipe de Brito e Nicote, a French-Portuguese adventurer and Rakhin mercenary, appears in this scenario as a Conquistador hero unit. He would later go on to become governor of Thanlyin and executed by Bayinnaung's grandson King Anaukpetlun some 30 years later.
  • In reality, the invasion of Arakan was never carried out due to Bayinnaung's declining health and his armies subsequently withdrew soon after his death.
  • The Hints claim that the Portuguese Wonder has strong defensive capabilities (it shoots arrows). This is caused by four Guard Towers placed within its foundation (they are briefly visible when the Wonder is destroyed, and are destroyed with it).
  • This is the only campaign scenario in the game in which the closing narration is spoken by a different character than in the opening narration. Because Bayinnaung dies in the middle of the scenario, one of his sons takes over for him during the ending cutscene.
  • Excluding Historical Battles, this is chronologically the latest campaign scenario in the game, being set only two decades before the start of the 17th century.
  • For reasons unknown, Gajah Mada appears as a hero unit in the westernmost Rakhine fortress.
  • In the scenario, after Bayinnaung passes away, Nanda says that "The Rakhine stand alone against us!", while in reality the Rakhine not only have three different AI players but are also allied with the Portuguese and so the player has to fight against four enemies at the same time.
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